Permanent tickets can be recharged via online or at the platforms for a whole year

From smart tickets to modern stations: A commuter's guide to the metro rail

Shining BD Desk || Shining BD

Published: 12/22/2022 4:31:51 AM

  • Two types of cards – permanent and temporary
  • Permanent card to cost Tk200
  • It can be recharged online or at a station for Tk200 to Tk10,000
  • Temporary cards are like regular train tickets
  • Tickets must be punched for opening platform turnstiles
  • Tickets can be purchased on the second floor of a station

The much anticipated metro rail is scheduled to be inaugurated on 28 December with a promise to ease the unbearable sufferings of commuters who now have to spend long hours every day getting stuck in traffic jams.

At first, the metro route from Diabari to Agargaon via Pallabi and Mirpur will be opened to the public.

Officials said the metro rail will be a new experience for the city commuters with facilities such as smart tickets, three-storey stations and modern management systems.

As per the preliminary plans of the Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited, the metro will have two types of tickets – permanent and temporary.

With a permanent rechargeable ticket – or card, as it is called – a passenger can travel for a long period of time. It will cost Tk200 and then can be recharged online with amounts ranging from Tk200 to Tk10,000. The card can also be recharged at the machines at every metro station.

Passengers have to swipe the card while entering the platform to open the door and once again at the exit of their preferred destination.

The temporary card, on the other hand, will have to be collected from the station every time by paying a certain amount of fare for each destination. This card also has some smart features. The platform turnstile will not open with a card if a passenger travels more than the specific destination. In that case, they will have to pay the extra fare to get out.

Officials said there will be elevators, escalators and stairs in the three-storey stations with a concourse hall on the second floor hosting offices, ticketing facilities and other machines. The rail line and the platform will be on the third floor, which will only be accessible for those with tickets.

There will be fencing along the railway line to avoid accidents. The fence and the door of the train will open together after the train stops at the station. They will close automatically after a certain time, they said.

People concerned said 24 sets of trains will run daily from 5am to 1am in the first metro rail system in the country. About 60,000 passengers are expected to travel through it per hour and about 5 lakh passengers every day.

Each station will have trains every two and a half to three minutes.

It will take 38 minutes to travel from Diabari to Motijheel which now takes more than two hours by motor vehicles.

According to the feasibility study, the number of passengers in the metro rail on the Uttara-Motijheel route will increase every year and by 2030, the number of daily passengers will increase to 5.88 lakh. However, transport experts have expressed doubt over the growth of passengers at this rate.

MAN Siddique, managing director of the DMTCL, told The Business Standard, "We have decided to run trains for four hours a day in the morning and afternoon at the initial period as the passengers in our country are not used to traveling by such a vehicle. The number of trips will be increased later depending on the rise in the number of passengers."

He said that around 70% of the income of metro rail will come from tickets and the remaining 30% will be realised from other sources.

Officials concerned said there will be nine stations in the metro rail route which is awaiting inauguration on 28 December. The construction of the stations has already been completed except for some works on setting up the escalators and elevators for two stations in Mirpur. These will be completed before the inauguration.

They said that the ten trains to be launched on this route are demonstrating regular trial runs without carrying any passengers.

Some 274 employees including 24 drivers, 58 station controllers (four of them are women) will operate the metro rail. Around 400 more employees will be appointed later while it will start running in full swing.

MAN Siddique said, "We are almost ready for the inauguration. However, there will not be a glittering opening ceremony as there are instructions to reduce costs considering the global economy."

The Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL) is responsible for the construction, operation and maintenance of the metrorail in the capital. Company officials said that it will cost up to Tk5 crore per day to operate the metro rail from Uttara to Kamalapur via Motijheel.

At first, the cost of the metro rail project for the Uttara-Motijheel route was estimated at Tk21,985 crore. However, it increased later to Tk33,472 crore after the extension of the route to Kamalapur. Out of this, Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) is providing Tk19,719 crore and the government of Bangladesh is providing Tk13,753 crore.


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